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New Zealand trade deal ‘boost for Edinburgh’

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Edinburgh should benefit from the deal say ministers

A comprehensive trade agreement between the UK and New Zealand promises to cut red tape for businesses, end tariffs on UK exports and create opportunities for technology and services companies.

Some goods such as wine and honey will be cheaper and it will be easier for UK professionals to live and work in New Zealand.

Among a list of gains from the deal, the UK government said Edinburgh’s financial and insurance services companies will benefit from greater access to New Zealand’s market and easier digital trade and business travel.

The deal was agreed in a video call between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern after 16 months of talks led by Department for International Trade negotiators.

UK-New Zealand trade was worth £2.3 billion last year and is set to grow under the deal. The deal will remove barriers to trade and deepen access for the UK’s advanced tech and services companies, while making it easier for smaller businesses to break into the New Zealand market.

Tariffs as high as 10% will be removed on a huge range of UK goods, from clothing and footwear to buses, ships, bulldozers and excavators, giving British exporters an advantage over international rivals in the New Zealand import market - a market which is expected to grow by around 30% by 2030. 

High-quality New Zealand products loved by British consumers, from Sauvignon Blanc wine to Manuka honey and kiwi fruits, could be cheaper to buy. 


UK workers will benefit from improved business travel arrangements and professionals such as lawyers and architects will be able to work in New Zealand more easily.

The New Zealand trade deal follows advanced free trade agreements already struck with Australia and Japan and helps pave the way for UK to join Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade area of 11 Pacific nations with a GDP of £8.4 trillion in 2020.

Mr Johnson said: “This is a great trade deal for the United Kingdom, cementing our long friendship with New Zealand and furthering our ties with the Indo-Pacific. It will benefit businesses and consumers across the country, cutting costs for exporters and opening up access for our workers.

Boris Johnson: fantastic week for global Britain

“This is a fantastic week for global Britain. On Tuesday we raised almost £10bn in investment for the industries of the future, and this new deal will help drive green growth here and on the other side of the world in New Zealand.

Ms Ardern said: “This world-leading free trade agreement lays the foundations for even stronger connections as both countries embark on a new phase in our relationship. It is good for our economies, our businesses and our people.

See also: Scottish exports to UK worth three times EU total

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses national chairman, said: “It’s fantastic to see progress being made on a free trade agreement with New Zealand.”

William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said business would particularly welcome the intention to agree comprehensive chapters on market access, labour mobility and professional qualifications, digital trade, and green goods and services.

“In the year prior to start of the pandemic, the UK had a £366m surplus in services trade with New Zealand, with particular strengths in insurance, pensions, travel, communications, other financial services and intellectual property.  

“New Zealand-UK trade is currently between £2-3bn per annum. When this agreement is translated into a final free trade agreement it should provide new opportunities for UK exporters as well as resulting in some small falls in the price of New Zealand wine and other goods imports. 

“UK road vehicles, pharmaceutical and other manufacturing exporters will welcome these improved trading terms, with cars accounting for a fifth of all UK goods exports to New Zealand.

“The agreement on green trade also has the potential to set a new benchmark on a commitment to sustainability within free trade agreements globally. ”

Dominic Goudie, Head of International Trade, the Food and Drink Federation, said: “Food and drink manufacturers welcome the news that the UK has agreed in principle a trade deal with New Zealand – an important partner for UK food and drink, with trade in our sector’s products worth more than £661m in 2020.

“Our manufacturers will benefit from an ambitious trade deal with New Zealand that removes a range of tariffs that currently constrain exports. Significant growth opportunities exist as UK production becomes more competitive in the New Zealand market.”

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